Capt’n Tom’s Blow-Up Doll Boat Story

Back around 1992 I was a lost soul I think. Having been recently divorced, moving back home from Fort Lauderdale to the Baltimore suburbs on the Chesapeake Bay. Burned-out with my job and boatless.

There was a local marina known as a boat graveyard and every weekend you would hear power tools from people working on their project boats. With my money being very tight I found a boat in the woods that I could save from the saws-all and dumpster and have it for free. I could scavenge the boatyard for parts that came off of other abandoned boats if the marina owner, a friendly old man, said it was okay. This project included a mercuiser inboard/outboard install.

Here are a couple pictures early-on in construction:

I do not remember now where the idea of putting a blow-up doll up on the flying bridge came from but that’s how it ended up. After she went up there I had another crazy idea. Being that my lower helm was directly under the upper helm I could mount the seat on a swivel and control turning the seat 360 degrees with a shaft from under the seat to under the top of the lower helm. So that’s exactly what I did.

Then I had another idea. I added a marine windshield wiper motor to a bracket mounted to the back of the seat to a spot directly behind the right elbow of my blow-up doll and tied them together. Now with a click of a switch at my lower helm I could have her waving her arm dramatically… and I could spin her 360 degrees!

I now had the perfect toy to play a joke on every other boater I encountered on Back River, Middle River and the upper Chesapeake Bay where I was moored and did my fishing. When a boat was coming on at a distance or reasonably close no matter the direction, I would point my doll at them and start her waving. This was best when a boat was looking at mine from astern because I could swing my topless babe around and her body would be in full view. Most helmsmen when seeing her would obviously steer their boat closer or even turn about to take a closer look. Many were viewing through binoculars at first. Many if not most would steer close enough to realize she was a blow-up doll and that they had just had a trick played on them. Many still would steer close enough to share their laughter with me and tell me how cool my gag was haha. No kidding I had boatloads of people hilarious, fishermen and pleasure boaters alike. It really was a lot of fun those days and I did become kinda famous locally on the water for this.

I later abandoned this boat to take on my next project, a 1969 38′ Post Sportfisher to be saved from the saws-all and dumpster. You can see a picture of my 38′ Post Sportfisher here on my Homepage and learn more about this project HERE.

Here is the only picture I have of my completed blow-up doll boat, doll above, me below.:

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